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Top UK Officer: Police 'Very Close to Losing the Streets' Amid Spike in Violent Crime

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According to Metro.uk, a top police officer in the UK is concerned that police are "very close to losing the streets" amid a rise in violent crime.

Sergeant Simon Kempton, operation policing lead of the Police Federation, says the recent spike in violent crime is due to a severe drop in officer numbers and a lack of funding. 

Metro.uk reports: 

Sgt Kempton, who joined Dorset Police in 2000, hit out at policies which have seen officer numbers plummet in recent years, suggesting there were not enough officers to do the job properly.

There were 21,331 fewer police officers in England and Wales as of March this year compared with the same point in 2010, according to the Home Office. Total officer numbers across the 43 police forces were at 122,404 as of March, the lowest number since comparable records began in 1996.

Such a drastic fall has lead to criminals ‘becoming bolder’ and ‘acting with impunity’ because ‘when we lose those feet on the ground we lose that deterrerent effect,’ Sgt Kempton added. He also suggested that the drop in numbers had lead to a rise in violent crime, particulary knife crime.

Kempton told Metro.uk, "I think the first and the last duty of any government is to protect its citizens, and if the budgets across government have to be constrained difficult decisions need to be made. But keeping people safe, alive and getting on top of criminality should absolutely be the top priority of this and any other government."

"The reason we pay taxes for a police service is so we feel safe in our homes, these are fundamental things we must meet as a society," he added. 

Many have been blaming spike in crime and the lack of funding for law enforcement on the fact that the UK is spending a fortune on foreign aid rather than their own maintenance at home.

Others still argue that the spike in crime hasn't been so much a matter of funding as bad strategy hindering policemen from being able to do their jobs. 

Immigration has become a major flashpoint of debate in the UK, especially after the Rotherham scandal where it was revealed that police had failed to take action against migrant gangs who had been abusing local youths over the past decade, fearing being smeared as "racist." Even the liberally-inclined Huffington Post branch in the UK commented on how a researcher was sent to Diversity Training as punishment for commenting on the nature of the crime: 

A researcher was sent on a diversity awareness course - and faced the sack - for raising the alarm about the appalling abuse of children in Rotherham and the fact most of the perpetrators were of Pakistani descent, it has been reported.

Some 1,400 children were abused between 1997 and 2013 in the South Yorkshire town, including cases of them of being made to witness brutal rapes, being covered in petrol and threatened with being set alight, according to a devastating report last week.

Telegraph.uk wrote a piece in August titled, "Sadiq Khan must get a grip of 'horrendous' London crime epidemic as police probe 100th murder of 2018," where it elaborates on the issue as one of the Mayor Khan's leadership first and foremost. 

"Violent crime in London has soared in recent months, briefly overtaking the murder rate in New York, and figures are on track to make 2018 the deadliest in a decade," the newspaper writes. 

Neil O'Brien, a Conservative MP, says, "Sadiq Khan needs to get a grip on this horrendous epidemic. London has the resources it needs, but needs political leadership, which is currently lacking."

The new head of the Policing Federation stated that police are bogged down by a misplacement of priorities, where they are told to crack down on online hate speech and arguments rather than tackling violent crime.

John Apter told the Sunday Telegraph, "Where we get drawn into local disagreements, the argument over the remote control, the dispute in the playground, the row on Facebook, it is frustrating. I think police time can be better spent and it makes a mockery when we are so stretched. You can’t treat society like that and you can’t treat the police as political footballs."

Apter also explained how police are far too busy for more life-threatening concerns: 

“Burglary is one of the most intrusive, horrible crimes that a householder can go through," he said. "It makes you feel incredibly vulnerable, but people can sometimes wait days for a police response."

Nigel Farage, former UKIP leader and icon of the Brexit movement, has spoken out about this misplacement of priorities: 

“Political correctness has directly led to the murder rate going up in London,” he said, juxtaposing that with the fact that, “We now have 900 Metropolitan Police officers dealing with hate crime… Words can hurt people and upset people and make them feel excluded. But where are the priorities?”

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